CDE Infrastructure

The programming infrastructure, not the productivity tools, forms the major strength of the Common Desktop Environment. This article discusses the APIs and desktop services that benefit developers and independent software vendors.
ToolTalk Server

The ToolTalk server can be relied upon to broker client and server messages for inter-client plug-and-play. The common object request broker architecture (CORBA) movement has a great deal of strength behind it. But ToolTalk is lightweight, does the job and forms an integral part of CDE, which is deployed across a gamut of Unix platforms. ToolTalk takes message-handling registrations from method servers, then holds that information until client applications broadcast for those registered services. Platform gateways are not needed because ToolTalk interoperates between heterogeneous systems.

Go For It

There is much more to CDE than meets the eye. Application and workspace developers alike have a rich feature-filled infrastructure upon which to build. Just like in the past, we still rely on the tried and true X and Motif; however, now we can count on the Common Desktop Environment for its development libraries and desktop management infrastructure.

If you are getting ready to write a new application or just thinking about sprucing up something that you have been working on, consider how your application can become more feature rich and desktop friendly with less code.

For a list of CDE reference materials, visit IBM's CDE web page at

George Kraft is an Advisory Software Engineer for IBM's Network Computer Division. He has previously worked on CDE V2.1 and V1.0 for IBM's RS/6000 Division. He initially started working with the X Window System for the Purdue University Computing Center back in 1987. He has a BS in Computer Science and Mathematics from Purdue University. He can be reached via e-mail at